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VOL. 44 | NO. 40 | Friday, October 2, 2020

‘2030’ offers plausible look ahead to a different time

By Terri Schlichenmeyer

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Your crystal ball is broken. There’s no seer on your payroll, no Tarot mat in the breakroom and nobody’s consulting the stars on your behalf. Sometimes, though, it would be nice to have one of those available so you could see the into future.

Who knew prognostication would be as easy as having “2030” by Mauro F. Guillén on your shelf?

There was once a time when everything was easy.

The world was “neatly divided” into nations with good economies and ones without. There were more workers than retirees, families were larger, and Americans believed in a so-called American Dream. But, Guillén says, that “world is rapidly vanishing.”

Ten years from now, things will be even more different from that which we know today.

Though it’s true that those who’ll be most affected by future events have already been born, by 2030, we’ll “be facing a baby draught,” especially in America, Canada, China and Japan. Declining birth rates in these economic-powerhouse countries will shift the balance of the world’s economies to countries in which the birth rate remains high. Migration will mitigate these changes, Guillén says, but not by enough to matter.

“2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything”

by Mauro F. Guillén

c.2020, St. Martin’s Press

$28.99

288 pages

This will affect retirees, who will enjoy a renaissance of sorts when marketing and service economies begin focusing on them. Remember, Guillén says, that in 20 years “the first millennials will go into retirement” and new technology will be created for them, and for boomers.

On the other end of the spectrum, he says, people between the ages of 15 and 34 then will be more mobile, they’ll embrace entrepreneurship more than similarly-aged people do today, and they’ll find it easier to work in a world economy. Oh, and they’ll likely shun home and car ownership in favor of a share-everything lifestyle.

Poverty rates will look different, Guillén says, as will money itself. As cities grow, climate issues and water problems will exacerbate. Obesity rates will increase, AI will revolutionize our homes and businesses, and we won’t survive any of this “unless we change our traditional mindset...”

Generally, when we think of the future, a Jetsons-like existence often comes to mind, but in “2030,” author Mauro F. Guillén looks a little closer to home. This is not a book filled with flights of fancy. No, it’s solid, plausible, based on fact, but it is missing something and that’s not Guillén’s fault.

As he was writing, he couldn’t have known about COVID-19.

In some ways, surprisingly, the pandemic lends new authenticity to Guillén’s words, since it’s possible to note minute directional changes already in-progress in some of the predictions he makes. In other aspects, the virus could impede or altogether alter the outlooks he sees, even if just for a few years.

Still, this is an intriguing book for anyone who plans on living, doing business, or relaxing in the next decade or so. It’ll require some between-the-lines reading, but it’ll also spark thought, too. If you need to know the future, even just a little bit, the need for “2030” is crystal clear.

Terri Schlichenmeyer’s reviews of business books are read in more than 260 publications in the U.S. and Canada.

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